DHEC says data shows South Carolina may be entering a fall COVID-19 surge

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – State health officials say recent data shows COVID-19 case numbers in Upstate are still rising at a steady rate, near or beyond previous spikes in the state.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, cases in Pickens, Greenville and surrounding counties increase and other disease surveillance indicators trend upward, leading health officials to warn the state may be entering a fall surge.

Officials say the uptick is not unique to South Carolina because the number of cases are climbing national and in other countries.

“At the end of October, there were nearly 100,000 cases reported in one day in the United States, setting new daily case records. Several key indicators in South Carolina have trended upward since August,” DHEC reported.

That includes:

  • Daily rate of cases per 100,000
  • Percent positive
  • Hospitalizations due to COVID-19
  • Number of COVID-19 patients on ventilators

“No one should lose sight of the power we each hold to help decrease deaths and illnesses from COVID-19 for all of us. We truly have an opportunity to take much better control of the spread of this virus,” said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Linda Bell. “Wearing a mask in public and practicing physical distancing, consistently, would change the trajectory of our cases in South Carolina in a positive way, and it is my hope this happens very soon.”

The resurgence of cases and hospitalizations could have a profound impact on healthcare systems, the economy, and school and university operations, according to DHEC.

Public health experts are calling on residents to act now by rededicating themselves to the daily precautions that help prevent the spread of this deadly virus.

“The increases in case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths across the nation is extremely concerning, and we must double down on our efforts in order to prevent a second wave in South Carolina,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC’s Interim Director of Public Health. “We understand that ‘COVID-19 fatigue’ is occurring and we’re all wishing for a return to normalcy. But think of our first responders, doctors and nurses, law enforcement officers, and essential workers who, although exhausted, keep working to keep us safe. We can’t give up.”

South Carolinians should commit to the daily actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.

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